Behind the GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ Anything Multi Pant with 686 Founder Michael Akira West

We all know GORE-TEX has set the gold standard for waterproof and breathable fabric technology on the market today, but are you aware that GORE-TEX offers a variety of different types of water and windproof membranes geared towards various outdoor activities and lifestyles? GORE-TEX’s newly released INFINIUM™️ fabric with their WINDSTOPPER Enabling Technology places emphasis on comfort, flexibility, and breathability. This 2-layer fabric itself retains the same water and wind resistance you have come to love from GORE-TEX but, along with the absence of taped seams, offers superior breathability and flexibility. 

We caught up with 686 Founder and Creative Director Michael Akira West to pick his mind on our all-new GORE-TEX INFINIUM™️ Anything Multi Pant. Learn about his inspirations behind the new design, his experience putting them to the test, and the future of 686 x GORE-TEX products. 

Q: What inspired you to use GORE-TEX INFINIUM™️ Fabric for a version of the Anything Pant?

Mike: GORE-TEX is globally synonymous with high-end performance fabrications. We’ve been working with them on the winter product side for years and decided to integrate their new INFINIUM products into our year-round collection. From my experience, INFINIUM is a perfect mixture of casual-wear and high-performance active-wear. With our widely popular and growing Multi Pant Series, I wanted to take our current offering a step further and create something completely new to our everyday collection. The end result is the world’s first everyday travel and adventure pant with GORE-TEX INFINIUM fabric.

Q: You added some new features to this version of the Anything Pant. Can you explain what inspired that?

Mike: Yes, we slightly tweaked this new version around the INFINIUM fabric to provide the optimal experience you’ve grown to expect from our GORE product line. Because GORE-TEX INFINIUM fabric is water-resistant, we didn’t need to tape the seams on these. The benefit of this is added comfort, breathability and increased flexibility around the seam touch points. This also allowed us to use our tried and true Nylon/Stretch Multi Pant fabric in the crotch gusset, upper back yoke and front upper pocketing. Like our other GORE-TEX products, we added YKK AquaGuard zippers to the side cargo pockets to align with our technical winter GORE-TEX products. Since the GORE-TEX INFINIUM woven fabric is not 4-way stretch like our regular Multi Pants we slightly modified the fit to replicate the feel of our current best sellers. In my opinion, the end result is an everyday casual looking pant with very unique technical features.

Q: If you could go anywhere in these where would you go?

Mike: The overall concept for our Multi Pants is to create a hybrid experience between what you do in the city and the mountains. We want to create everyday gear that works in any environment from morning to night. The GORE-TEX INFINIUM fabric we used with these offers superior protection from the elements during your daily activities. For example, I wore and tested them on a recent adventure to Peru to hike Machu Pichu and surf Chicama. From the moment I left LAX, traveled Lima and then Cusco, hiked Machu Pichu, and surfed one the longest lefts on the coast, the GORE-TEX INFINIUM Anything Pant did the trick. Water-Resistant, windproof, sun protection, lightweight and breathable – everything I needed amidst my journey.

Q: What are you personally most excited about for these?

Mike: I love to create products you can wear in multiple environments: from your morning workout, to your office meeting, and on to your late night adventures. At the same time, I enjoy products that allow me to carry my everyday items securely while offering seamlessly hidden features that provide quick access anything I need at a moment’s notice. That’s exactly what this pant does. We’ve had so many positive comments reiterating similar experiences with their pants and I’m excited to see how people put these GORE-TEX INFINIUM Anything Pants to the test.

Q: What do you see in the future for 686 x GORE-TEX garments?

Mike: GORE-TEX is on the same path as 686. In the future, I see us combining what they’ve done very well in terms of high-end fabrication performance to discover other ways to integrate that into our everyday active/casual products. This is just the start in our transition from woven fabrications to knits. Stay tuned for some more unique multi-environment products that will change the way you think and feel coming very soon.

Our all-new GORE-TEX Infinium Anything Multi Pant was designed using GORE-TEX’s INFINIUM™️ WINDSTOPPER enabling technology. Whether you’re looking for a stylish pant for the city or a lightweight technical pant ready the outdoors, the WINDSTOPPER enabling technology integrated into these multi-environment pants forces precipitation to bead-up and run right off the exterior. Along with light water protection, the pants membrane offers extreme wind-proofing and breathability to keep your body temperature well balanced and comfortable no matter where you are exploring. If you’re looking for technical and functional pant loaded with seamless storage and basic weather protection the GORE-TEX Anything Pant should be your first look.

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Our Redefined Social Responsibility Program: An Interview with Arthur Cortez

At 686 we want to be more than just a brand. We want to help make a difference in our community and inspire our employees to do the same.

This year, we created a new service-based program to inspire our crew to give back to their local communities. We are starting with our local home in South Central Los Angeles. We’ve set a company goal to complete a minimum of 120 cumulative volunteer hours together, with hopes to surpass and grow that number in the future. 686 will be donating work hours, meaning that the company will be paying employees during the hours required to reach our goals.

 We caught up with our Credit Manager, Arthur Cortez – who spearheaded the development of the Social Responsibility Program (SRP), to touch on what inspired this service project for the company along with some of the local service events planned for the 686 staff in the coming months.

What is the Social Responsibility Program (SRP)?

For the SRP, I really wanted to further our company’s commitment to the local community events 686 has been doing in the past with the Compton Surf/Snow Club. Over the years, I’ve dreamed of creating a program that provides employees the time during business hours to serve an organization or cause that aligns with their passions and builds upon what we’re trying to accomplish as a company. This new program provides each employee with a total of 24 hours a year to do just that. We’ve challenged ourselves to raise at least 120 cumulative volunteer hours from May 2019 to May 2020 this year to quantify a target that we can strive for and keep track of together. Hopefully, we surpass this number, which would be really rad!

In order to inspire our employees and provide them opportunities to volunteer locally around our headquarters, we are conducting three larger volunteer-based activities hosted by the company for the entire staff to participate in. We just conducted our first event this May, where we all headed down to one of our local state beaches and did a beach clean-up. For me personally, along with making steps in helping keep our beaches clean, it was awesome to see everyone have a great time and grow stronger together as a family. This got me excited for what’s to come with this program. We have two more company events to look forward to and will continue to foster relationships with local organizations to provide our staff places other areas to serve throughout the year.

Honestly, I’m excited to see where our employees take this freedom during business hours to serve. I’m curious where people are going to go, and the experiences that we’re going to share with each other. For example, over the next six weeks, we are partnering with a camp as part of the Harold Robinson Foundation. Once a week, 3-4 of our employees will be going to a Los Angles School to host workshops for a couple groups of 25-30 kids. The goal is to use a team building activity to show the kids what we do at 686 and how all of our different job functions and our departments are needed for the company to run smoothly and operate efficiently. I’m definitely excited about this partnership and looking for other places like this where we can give back as a company.

 What is another event planned for the 686 staff this year?

Another company-hosted event will be an initiative for our Compton Surf Club where we take kids from our Compton area to the beach and teach them how to surf as well as participate in a beach clean up with them. Most of these kids only live 20 minutes from the ocean, yet have never experienced standing sideways in the glory of the wave. Our goal is to open their eyes to a new activity and the beauty of what the ocean provides as well share the importance of keeping our community as well as our oceans clean!

There are many possibilities for areas where we can help out as a company. My goal is to discover those areas and take steps to help make a difference and live out our company’s values into our local community. That’s what we plan to do with these larger scale events. We’re here in our community every day, so we want to do what can we do to improve the community we reside.

What inspired you to create this program for the 686 employees?

I’m passionate about community service and volunteer work. It’s always been a part of my day-to-day and was an impactful aspect of how I was raised. I think a lot of the time, we get so caught up in our own world and busy lives that we often forget to take a step back to help others or help a cause. One thing that has given me a lot of perspective on life is attending community events and witnessing the different problems all around us like homelessness, kids in the foster care system, trash all over the streets, etc. Until you see it first hand and actually get your hands dirty, these problems are out of our day-to-day. When I actually got to volunteer with people and went out to events, I was able to connect with these problems on a different level. My inspiration for this program came from wanting to bring that perspective, that feeling, to 686 in the same way.

686 has done a few different community-based events over the years. Are there any company events that made an impact on you personally?

There are a few, but one that stands out to me was when we went to downtown LA to serve food to the homeless for the LA Mission. This event stands out because it took many people in our staff out of their comfort zones. They were able to see first hand what’s going on in Skid Row and the scale of the homeless problem on just the one block we served at. I think it helped wake some people up in a way. Even if it didn’t change their lives per se, they were able to gain a broader understanding of the homeless problem and the value in helping to make a difference.

Another reason the LA Mission event sticks out was seeing our family work hard together as a team in the kitchen and serving the homeless community in our backyard. Witnessing our staff take a leap outside of their comfort zones and work as a team to help a community in need was pretty awesome. That stood out a lot for me.

What are you most excited about for the SRP?

I think for me it’s seeing the vision come to fruition. I’ve always wanted to establish a company initiative like this and provide volunteer hours for employees. What excites me the most is seeing where people take that, and then seeing where it grows to and the good that we’re able to do. It’s all about planting little seeds everywhere and seeing how and where they grow. I don’t want this program to come off as a competition. I hope it’s seen it as something that inspires people and potentially as something that other brands can find value in pursuing. For example, a large basis that helped me in developing this program was reaching out to other companies that are already doing this.

Now that we have a plan set in place, were committed serving our community where we can. I’m excited to see where it will grow. What excites me is the potential: the organizations that we’re going to help, the causes we’re going be apart of, and the potential of where it’ll go.

BTBounds Woodward Tahoe Camp Recap with Mary Walsh

Words and Photos: Mary Walsh @walshmt

Summer is rough. Sure, the weather’s nice and the days are long, but there’s a distinct lack of snow in the majority of the Northern Hemisphere. While for many, that’s a reason to rejoice and fire up the barbeque, for those of us who love taking lap after lap at our local resort, opening day just feels like a long way off when it’s early June.

Enter snowboard summer camp at Woodward Tahoe: one of the best ways to kick off the warmer season with sunny, slushy snowboarding in a park designed for having fun and learning new tricks. The first week of June, Beyond the Boundaries Women’s Snowboard Camp hosted an adult snowboard camp during Week 1 at Woodward Tahoe, bringing a crew of coaches including 686 rider Fancy Rutherford  as well as Taylor Elliott, Savannah Golden, Madison Blackley, Ashley Giangregorio, Summer Fenton, Cali Doerfler, Jes Albery, and BTBounds Co-Founder, Christine Savage to Boreal along with a dozen women for a grown-up take on classic snowboard camp.

Beyond the Boundaries has been working with Woodward Tahoe on women’s-specific weekend winter camps for the last couple of seasons; the collab summer camp week launched last year in 2018. Woodward Tahoe is pretty much a summer paradise, with lift-accessed snowboarding and skiing, multiple outdoor skateparks, and The Bunker, Woodward’s expansive indoor facility with trampolines, foam pits, tumble floors, multiple launch ramps, an indoor skatepark and miniramps. Where BTBounds Week 1 comes in is to customize the summer snowboard camp experience for women, with dedicated coaching on hill, off campus lodging, and adult-specific evening activities like nights out in Truckee, wine tasting, yoga sessions, skate clinics, catered dinners, and more.

Tahoe had an epic winter so Boreal was stacked with snow. The Woodward Tahoe park crew, led by Mizl, constructed four lanes of jumps, jibs, a minipipe and a quarter—a practically unheard of set up for summer. It was nuts. During the day, the BTBounds ladies sessioned all areas of the park, honing their skills on boxes, learning to hit side-approach rails, and becoming more comfortable in the air off of jumps. Fancy imparted her jibbing prowess and helped everyone perfect their presses.

In the evening, after learning new skills on the trampolines and into the foam pits in the Woodward Bunker (thanks Blake for the coaching!), the crew hung out in the BTB house in Tahoe Donner (complete with hot tub), enjoyed dinner in downtown Truckee, and relaxed before more riding. Coral Taylor, local yoga teacher and ripping rider, helped everyone stretch sore muscles with a yoga session at Donner Lake.

Midweek, Woodward held a sunset shoot for the visiting pros and invited BTBounds to come ride, too. Mizl set up a stall on the rider’s right deck of the halfpipe and the crew rode until the sun had set behind The Sierra. The next day, SNOWBOARDER Magazine’s Pat Bridges and Mark Clavin held a handplant clinic just for BTBounds and everyone familiarized themselves with the basics of planting, a challenging thing to learn with how unfamiliar the movement can feel, made much better by everyone trying together. 686 rider Darrah Reid-McLean was at camp with SNOWBOARDER and joined in, as well. 

In the afternoon, Alexandra from Skate Like a Girl SF Bay hosted a skate session in a pop-up park next to The Bunker and helped everyone get more comfortable on their skateboards, whether they were learning ollies or just pushing around for the first time. (Big thanks to Alexandra from SLAG and to Santa Cruz for the decks!)

No summer vacation in Tahoe would be complete without spending time on the lake. So, before the week was through, the ladies linked up with Rent-A-Boat Tahoe for an evening cruise on a two-boat floatilla with captains Nial and Brian. The weather was perfect and with music pumping and beverages in hand, the crew wound down the night floating on the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe…and then of course jumped in.

By Friday, everyone had gotten in tons of sunny park laps, but no one was ready to call it quits. The women boarded until the lifts stopped turning, getting in all the summer shred possible. New tricks were learned, new friends were made, and it was an all-time week to start summer off in the best way possible. See you next year at Woodward Tahoel!

Next up: one more summer boarding adventure in Chile with BTBounds x Steep-N-Deep Powder Tours July 15-21, 2019.

Want to join BTBounds for a week-long trip or a weekend park camp? Check out www.btbounds.com for more info.

Words and Photos: Mary Walsh @walshmt

New Music Friday | Duncan Adams Summer Meltdown Playlist


A quiet man at heart, Team Rider Duncan Adams lets his skiing do the talking for him. If you’ve seen his segment from Level 1’s newest film Zig Zag that dropped this season, you’d know what we’re talking about. Summer is here and that means our times spent on snow is slowly coming to a halt… for now. In honor of the snow that remains, Duncan compiled a Summer Meltdown playlist of the songs he’s been recently streaming on his adventures. Smash that play button and give it a listen!

If you’re interested in listening to more playlists curated by the 686 team, check out our Spotify Channel!

  


 Photo: Jeff Cricco

Lib Tech Surf on Magic Seaweed


Lib Tech Surf on Magicseaweed.com

Magicseaweed.com has a great article up now about Lib Tech Surf including an interview with Lib co-founders Mike and Pete, pics, vids, perspective, the whole she-bang! We live this story but it’s always nice to hear it resonate with others because the hype is real and behind the curtain there’s an actual commitment to sustainability, durability and the health of our craftsman and environment.

True innovators know that it’s one thing to adapt with the times and hop on a trend to stay relevant — but another thing entirely to wade through waters in which no one’s dared to dip a toe. It’s the kind of thing that takes courage, conviction and the sheer foresight to know; the environment ain’t no trend.

The post Lib Tech Surf on Magic Seaweed appeared first on Lib Tech Blog.

New Music Friday | Sam Klein Ski Mask SZN


It’s Ski Mask SZN year-round for Sam Klein. Sam spent his season filming some killer video segments for his ongoing web series filmed with the Havey City Crew. He’s currently been touring around the Woodward Summer Camps dropping hammers on every feature in his way. We were curious what Sam’s has been listening to during his camp tour, so we hit him up for a mix of his recent tracks. Press that play button and enter the headphones of the man behind the mask.

If you’re interested in listening to more playlists curated by the 686 team, check out our Spotify Channel!

  

Chasing the world’s best waves with William Aliotti for his first movie “New Religion.”

“New Religion” is a visual recap of chasing the best waves around the world with free surfer William Aliotti.

Hailing from Saint Martin (French Carribean island), William Aliotti is excited to release his first surf movie and share his artistic vision of surfing with the world. An ode to adventure, “New Religion” showcases William’s determination to prove that his surfing can still be creative and unsubordinated.

“New Religion” was directed, edited and filmed by: Manuel Claudeville Morell

The soundtrack was written and recorded for the movie by Manuel Claudeville Morell. Extra musicians: Adrien Legrand, Arthur Labbaye.

 

New Music Friday | Parker White Greatest Hits


It’s about time we caught up with Parker White. The dude spent this whole season out of reach, filming his video segment all around the globe with Level 1 and bud Freedle Coty. He had some down time last week and wanted a go at our weekly playlists. Pop in your headphones and check out some of Parker’s Greatest Hits. Press play and give it a listen.

If you’re interested in listening to more playlists curated by the 686 team, check out our Spotify Channel!

  

 

12 Year Skateboarder Gavin Bottger’s First Video Part

Volcom Presents

Gavin Bottger

“Duel For Fuel”

Gavin Bottger has been skating since he was only 5 Years old! He’s just 12 years old now, but judging by the way he skates, he seems much older. While you may have heard his name or seen him on the Camp Woodward episodes, Volcom is proud to present ‘Duel For Fuel’ Gavin’s first proper video part.

Gavin hopped on a skateboard when he was just 5 years old

Gavin Bottger’s first time on a skateboard was at the Gardnerville Nevada skatepark and was immediately stung with the obsession to skate every day since. The morning after that first day at Gardnerville he woke up his dad Scott at 6am, hovering over him he had nothing but skating on his mind, obsessed, he couldn’t wait to get back to park where he had spent over 3 hours the day before. He was already going through withdrawals and when he finally got to the skatepark by 8am that morning, it was where he then spent the majority of the day. This went on for the next 70 consecutive days before he had to take a break. Gavin later spent many long weekends traveling around the Bay Area and Sacramento to get out of the mountains of South Lake Tahoe where he grew up so he could explore different skateparks and spots.

Gavin and Scott would sleep in Walmart parking lots in the family car, Mom’s Subaru, which would enable them to stay on the road longer and skate more spots before heading back up the mountain. Eventually the snowy winters of Tahoe became problematic so the Bottger family decided to chase the sun and head south to Vista, CA where they live today. Gavin now 12 years old still thrives on hittin’ the road every chance he gets, but has also had the opportunity to rip out by plane to places like Woodward, China, Canada and several other locations.

To put it simply, Gavin just wants to devour everything in sight.

He’s come a long way since he learned backside airs at age 6

There’s no telling where this kid is gonna end up, he looks forward to every day every day. We, at Volcom, wanted to document and share what’s happening here with this kid lately, though much of his broader exposure these days has come through the lenses of bigger media contests or even the Camp Woodward show from before. But what’s behind it all that? That’s what we wanted to share; a kid who seemingly can’t get enough skate time in in one day and simply doesn’t care what the terrain is so long as he’s ripping it with his mates and getting his fill before sundown.

Somewhere along the filming process, the idea to make a giant Volcom Stone for the opening of Gavin’s part came along. Then it evolved into a giant Volcom Stone that was on fire! So with an idea, exact measurements and a loose plan we drove out to the infamous Nude Bowl to construct a giant flaming Volcom Stone around it. Turns out it was Gavin’s first time there and he had no trouble figuring out the crusty old pit. While the flames were lit and Gavin in the middle of it all, it was showtime! The drone was up in the air and everyone had a camera while Gavin blasted frontside air after frontside air until the flames went out. Not a bad first time experience at the Nude Bowl!

Volcom Skateboarding

Big Youth Happening